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Ulrich Beck
Die Metamorphose der Welt

© Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2016 Ulrich Beck: Die Metamorphose der Welt  © Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2016When Munich sociologist Ulrich Beck died unexpectedly in January 2015, he was working on a book on the question of how climate change is transforming our concept of the world. After Beck’s death, his wife Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim completed the book together with academic companions of the author. ( …) In their style and content, however, the results are unmistakably and genuinely Beck, displaying his typical relish for making strong statements, creating concepts, and using colourful metaphors. (…) In view of the sad circumstances of the publication of Die Metamorphose der Welt (The Metamorphosis of the World), it suggests itself that this work be understood as Beck’s intellectual legacy, the last great diagnosis of contemporary society by probably its most influential German diagnostician. Indeed, the standard could hardly be higher. (…)
Beck had previously diagnosed great transformations in Risikogesellschaft (Risk Society, 1986) and Weltrisikogesellschaft (World Risk Society, 2007). What is new here, even for Beck himself, is the idea that the negative side-effects (risks) he emphasised in his earlier books about upheaval may go hand in hand with positive side-effects, namely a sharper awareness of the global significance of these very risks. To this extent, climate change is potentially an “emancipatory catastrophe”. The book explains this theory and other aspects of “cosmopolitisation” (Beck’s term for globalisation) by looking at case studies as varied as the global trade in organs, global inequality, political relationships regarding the power to define, digital risks and intergovernmental relations.

Tobias Werron: „So kommt der Wandel in sein Endstadium“
© Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 23 December 2016

Ulrich Beck
Die Metamorphose der Welt
Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, 2016
ISBN 9783518425633
266 pages


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